Become an agile business with a CICD approach

By Christiaan du Plessis, Cloud Transformation Lead, DXC Oxygen on

Reducing costs, enhancing customer experiences and improving collaboration are three key benefits of digital transformation. But I believe there is one more that is equally important – business agility.

In today’s economy, the ability to launch new features quickly and continually in response to changing customer demands is a matter of competitive necessity. Adopting a Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CICD) approach can help IT departments drive the velocity and agility required to meet this need.

At DXC Oxygen, we have been championing the CICD approach within our SAP Hybris practice for a number of years. Customers use it to significantly shorten the new feature release cycle. In the past, adding a new shopping capability to an ecommerce site was a time consuming and manually intensive task. The consulting, design, development, testing and deployment cycle could take up to two weeks to complete – just for one new feature to be added.

This cycle becomes even more elongated and complicated when multiple features need to be implemented. Interdependencies between new features can slow down the development and testing cycle, and more human intervention is needed to ensure the initiatives remain on track.

Our CICD toolset enables organisations to run multiple, new feature developments in parallel. It automates some of the key processes involved, shortening deployment timeframes and allowing much quicker time-to-market.

Reducing human intervention is key to the process. Our CICD tools automate component testing and regression test any touchpoints between new features. If all the tests are passed, approval occurs automatically and the new features continue their deployment journey. There is no need to wait for approval before it moves onto the next stage. Intervention is only required if a test is failed, at which point a report is generated detailing the issue. Once the issue is rectified the feature then re-enters the testing cycle.

Adopting a CICD approach enables large, consumer-focused organisations to add new features to their production environment in a more rapid and timely fashion. Constant, incremental change is now possible and is often less disruptive to the user experience than mass changes occurring simultaneously.

We are now seeing a demand for this approach within the wider SAP software environment, as organisations look to rapidly and continuously adjust their processes to meet changing business requirements. The need for this type of business agility is increasing, for example, within the finance sector as retail banks fight off competition from new actors entering their market. With digital transformation breaking down traditional barriers to entry, constant innovation becomes a critical customer retention strategy.

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Interested to learn more about our CICD approach and what it could do for your organisation? Please don't hesitate to contact us.